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MARCH 08, 2024

From Passion to Business: Deanne Lim Shares Her Journey

In the face of adversities, women always manage to thrive through and rise with enduring resilience and triumph. As we celebrate Women’s Month, Twenty Third By Deanne’s founder and CEO, Deanne Lim, shares her insights and reflections throughout her journey as an independent businesswoman and extends guidance to women who aspire to strive for their own visions.

Qualities to Embody

Deanne believes that determination, passion, and purpose are the essential qualities to embody when striving for any goal, “Determination is the fuel to your engine. That’s what keeps you going and the main thing that will push you forward.” She believes that with enough determination, driven by the clear understanding of the things you want would guide you to take the actions that are necessary to achieve your ambitions.

As an independent business-owner, Deanne found that handling the initial stages of her business was comparatively easier than the rest of the challenges she had to face, “You have nothing to prove but yourself,” she emphasized. However, as you go along and as you deal with even harder obstacles Deanne asserts, “Without passion, it’ll get even harder.”

As we grow and navigate the phases of life, Deanne believes that we often find ourselves grappling with the recurring questions, “What’s the purpose of life? What’s the purpose of what we’re doing?” Which led Deanne to believe that, pondering these questions further emphasizes the necessity of purpose in every aspect of life—not just in work or starting a business.  

She adds,  “In whatever we do, we need purpose. Without it, there is no significance in what you do, and without significance, there is no meaning.” Deanne firmly believes that having a purpose, regardless of its size or significance, is essential.

Inspirational Women in Deanne’s Life

Deanne holds her mother in high regard and admits that seeing how her mother raised a family despite being a working single mother impacted her the most. She says, “Growing up, my mom was still very visible; she was still very active in our lives. Seeing that, one way or another, affected me and inspired me to become the woman that I am today—determined to succeed.” 

Among all of the achievements of her mother, the most inspiring one for Deanne is her mother’s work and life balance, “My mom was successful in a way that she was able to raise us and always be present. Being able to balance that as a woman is hard.” Deanne continues to reflect on how difficult it must have been for her mother to manage all of that while raising her and her sisters, “Being a mom is very hard, so, that is success for me—being able to balance both of that.”

Milestones in Deanne’s Journey

In a culture where finding a job is often perceived as the ultimate financial safety net, Deanne expresses with pride and relief that she was able to successfully leave her full-time job. She contemplates on another milestone in her journey, “Being able to come to the Philippines and start Twenty Third while Twenty Third US is still running,” Building a branch as a one-woman job with the occasional help of her mother, Deanne found herself hindered with limited travel possibilities, yet, now she finds great satisfaction in reaching a point in her career where she is able to efficiently run distinct branches of Twenty Third in two entirely different countries—an achievement she takes immense pride in. 

Reflecting further down her journey, she shares another noteworthy accomplishment, “Starting Twenty Third in the Philippines, it’s a very different market. So, just being able to start and having the confidence and the determination to start something where it is very foreign to me.” 

Despite the current size of Twenty Third Philippines as it takes on its early stages, Deanne takes deep gratification in taking the initial steps to share her passion to her hometown in spite of dealing with a business market that is unfamiliar to her, “Right now it's still very small, it's still starting. But being able to make that first step is a very big achievement for me and one thing that I am very proud of.”

Setbacks Turned Into Opportunities

When reflecting on the setbacks Deanne has faced, she candidly shares, “One setback was the impact of COVID during the pandemic because Twenty Third is a pandemic baby,” She describes how she was going a bit stir-crazy while staying at home, grappling on the restrictions imposed by this global crisis. Due to the spare time to waste, despite still holding her full-time job, led Deanne to feel confined, “I can’t work out, can’t go out,” however, those months where the whole world took a pause, she was able to find a meaningful outlet, “To be honest with you guys, during those few months, I could finish literally a bottle of wine by myself because I didn't know what to do. So, I realized this is not healthy.” 

Recognizing the need for a change of perspective, Deanne decided to channel all her energy into making her long cherished dream come to life, “We don't know how long this pandemic is going to last, so I need something to do with my time. I've always wanted to start an online business,” From then moving forward, Deanne redirected every ounce of her energy, efforts, and thoughts, into what we now know as Twenty Third By Deanne, “Since then, I've refocused every ounce of my energy, efforts, and thoughts into this business.” This setback propelled her into doing something she was genuinely passionate about and in the same breath, gave her freedom that she is now deeply grateful for. 

Woman-To-Woman Advice 

Reflecting on Deanne’s challenges and achievements as an independent business woman, she shares her insights, emphasizing on the importance of self-discipline, “Starting something is self-discipline. Not everyday do you feel motivated that you feel a purpose in what you’re doing, this is very meaningful,” Deanne points out that cultivating self-discipline, will be a reliable force, “Not everyday do you feel that strong gut-feeling that I wanna do this, but then if you have self-discipline, that’s one thing that is always reliable.”

To ease into the practice of self-discipline, she encourages the significance in starting small that may help one to slowly incorporate self-discipline into the daily routine, “You can start small, maybe lessen your hours on social media, or whatever discipline, to get you started, go to the gym, workout, feel good about yourself. Start with the small things.”

Deanne, embodying various roles as a daughter, a sister, and now an independent business woman while simultaneously navigating life's complexities. Her journey mirrors the broader narrative faced by women all around. Earning a seat at the table remains a challenge for women in male dominated world. The pursuit of dreams, the chase after passion, and the actualization of visions take a great deal of focus and tenacity are qualities that Deanne continues to practice as she strives for greater things. 

Want to learn more from Deanne? Watch the entire interview below: